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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Art of Distraction

No one knows exactly what is going to happen in the coming days, but we can make an educated guess in some areas. Connor McDavid is going to have a great time at the NHL Awards Show and will need to build another cabinet to house the Art Ross Trophy (and maybe more).

The Oilers are also going to have to deal with the verbal if and when Griffin Reinhart is chosen by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. The news stories will state Reinhart was a legendary junior and a No. 4 overall pick, and the more astute writers will mention his relative youth and the importance of having young talent on an expansion team.

George McPhee will probably talk about how delighted the Golden Knights were to get this player and why, at 23, he is a big piece of the future (along with their draft picks and other youths culled from the 30 established teams).

Back in Edmonton, the worldwide web will be humming with the mixture of gallows humor and soaring hyperbole that can only be produced by a decade in hockey’s equivalent to wandering the desert. “Griffin Reinhart for picks No. 16 and No. 33 in a deep 2015 draft” will be written across the twitter sky in block letters, bold, 34 font, Times New Roman.

It’s going to be awful, and by awful I mean complete scouting reports on Mathew Barzal and the other guy, I mean 5,000 tweets saying something like “they had Klefbom and Nurse, with Sekera on the way!” and even though this story will be below the fold (HEADLINE: McDavid cleans up at NHL Awards, Joe Manganiello brilliant as host!), it will be front page (edging out the comedy: “Gladys Knight, Golden Knights!” “Golden Knights, Gladys Knight!”) on all blogs, newspapers, flyers, facebook, tinder, Instagram and Dickie Dee ice cream trucks.

As bad as it will be, it’s the right thing to do. The Oilers may find a way to offer more to Vegas in exchange for drafting Benoit Pouliot, but that doesn’t get them closer to the Stanley Cup. No one is defending the trade now, and Reinhart should be allowed to find his own way in a town where the price for procurement doesn’t hang over his head daily.

There will be a small window where the Edmonton Oilers have to endure the verbal slings and arrows of a fan base gone wild. The business of winning the Stanley Cup suggests Peter Chiarelli has bigger fish to fry this summer, and that’s the lead story the moment the big trade goes down. Maybe it happens the morning after the expansion draft. Not a bad idea.

  • Tombstone

    There is no way Las Vegas drafts Griffen unless there is some kind of deal worked out with Edmonton. Pouliot is the best player to pick from and I will tell you why. If things don’t work out for Pouloit he is still a depth player you can trade come deadline for a 3rd or forth round pick. Even if he does well he could go as high as a second round pick. He has more experience than a JJ or a pitlick and no way Las Vegas drafts Kassian.

  • Big Nuggets

    After hearing the theory that the Oil will trade Eberle to Vegas for one of the defensemen they will get through the expansion draft I find it hard to entertain any other possibilities. Losing Reinhardt wouldnt be a big loss in my opinion, if the Eberle deal doesnt go down.

  • Mcjesuslaz

    Why does everyone care so much about this Reinhart he’s garbage. And who really cares about those picks we lost for him. People we have Connor mcjesus enough said…

    • Aopy

      It was Chia that made the trade. And please do not go on about how he trusted Lowe and MacT and Green. He was GM of the Bruins until April 15 and named Oilers GM April 24. Did he forget all his knowledge in 9 days?

      Chia overpaid for a 4th overall 21 yr old d man. End of story.

      • 24% body fat

        you dont pay on draft pedigree, that is stupid. Why did all we get for yak was a 3rd round. And Yak relative to his draft year is still decent, Reinhart isnt now and never was, so two years after the draft 4th overall is not relevant.

        As well, you are telling us, that when Chia was GM as Boston he was going to the AHL games and watching Reinhart. No, he was trusting his scouts. So when he got here he did the same thing with MacT and Green (dont know where you got Lowe from) and those two would have seen him more than the AHL scouts. Unfortunatley the Islanders had seen him play pro and the oilers had not and oilers got scammed. Yes Chia is accountable for the trade, but he wasnt the one pushing for it or thinking it up.

      • Redbird62

        McClellan won a Calder Trophy as head coach of the Houston Aeros in 2003. Todd Nelson may some day be proven to be a better coach and in hindsight could have been the better choice, but McClellan is proven as a good coach at every level. A Stanley Cup win with the Oilers is needed to push him to the next echelon.

  • Hockey123

    Perhaps the smartest men in the room took a chance on Tyler Benson the following year, where other teams passed because of injuries. Oilers were looking for a home run because of the huge mistake with Reinhart. Benson health is a huge issue.

  • Hemi

    Agreed! Reinhart will always have the finger pointed at him from some of the more leather lungs out there. So will Pistol Pete! It does seem like it was a swing and a miss regarding Reinhart but such is life. Dispite all, the Oil are a team that has it’s arrow pointing Northward. Matters of the past should be that, the past! If Reinhart finds himself with Vegas, good on him. If not and he remains Oiler property, I am in his corner.

    As for Pouliot, that train has left the station, all the Oil have to do is find how to get him on it.

  • the reasonable person

    I hope we lose Reinhart and keep Khaira. Honestly people, we have D in our system now, Reinhart may or may not be good enough to ever regularly crack a bottom pairing on any team. Our bottom pairing is Nurse and Benning with good junior prospects coming. Khaira is a big mean center over a ppg in the Bake and only 23 years old. He’d be a far bigger loss than Reinhart, guys like Khaira don’t get scored on in the and suck to play against. We need that way more than a marginal defenseman.

  • Jaxon

    I still think Pitlick might be the one to go during Vegas’ early free agency window. He’s young, he had a great season up until his injury, he’s big, he’s fast, he shoots. He won’t have a very high cap hit and they can tie him up for a number of years. Pitlick may jump at the chance to start somewhere new (without Eberle, Puljujarvi, Draisaitl, Kassian, Slepyshev, Pakarinen and possibly Foo to compete against on the right side) and get out from under his Oiler injury curse.

    • The Whispererer

      Pitlick is UFA on July 1st. Why would Vegas waste an expansion pick on him when they can choose someone else from Oilers and still sign Pitlick after the expansion draft?

  • nuge2drai

    Talbot.

    Maroon.

    Larsson.

    Lucic.

    Kassian.

    Benning.

    Letestu.

    Cagguila.

    Russel.

    Sekera.

    Anyone who criticizes Chia for trading Barzal for Reinhart has some serious issues.

    Easy to win them all in hindsight.

    • 24% body fat

      why? you can critisize for mistakes, if not no one would try to learn from them. I hope what you mean is that you dont judge Chia based on this one trade, (that technically could be Barzal and Aho or Carlo for Reinhart. Trust me that makes it much much worse. (number 2 center plus a number 2 winger or a top 4 large right handed D that CAN skate)

    • Rob...

      Though technically correct, anyone who has had to teach a child to read understands just how flipping stupid the english language is. It needs an overhaul badly. Spelling things phonetically is not a bad thing. I’ve heard it said that by grade 2 an Italian child can spell most italian words. This is one case where the Americans got it right by dropping the ‘u’.

      • Serious Gord

        The reason why English is THE language of the world is because it isn’t as rigid as its competition – new words are created all the time and old ones change spelling or disappear from common usage. Thinking that someone or something should actually “overhaul” the language is to assume that it is broken. It is not. Quite the contrary – it is the most alive and modern and global language of them all.

        • Rob...

          What is the function of a ‘u’ after ‘q’? Why does a ‘q’ even exist given that a ‘k’ makes the same sound? Why can a ‘c’ exist, since it either makes a ‘s’ sound or a ‘k’ sound? What is the purpose of a silent ‘k’? For someone who supposedly likes logic you aren’t being very ‘lojical’.

  • camdog

    If the Oilers give up a Bear or Jones I’m sure that Vegas would be interested in taking Pouliot, not sure that helps the Oilers get ahead though. Vegas isn’t just taking on cap willy nilly here. There are some good players that are going to be Free Agents over the next couple of seasons. This Cap Hell thing is a blessing for the expansion team, no sense f’ing it up taking on bloated contracts.

  • That's My Point

    Reinhart will do GREAT no matter where he plays. Finally the Oilers aren’t rushing their players into the NHL. They say defencemen take longer to develop also. This team is finally getting some depth.

  • Chainsawz

    NHL.com has a redraft of 2012. Reinhart and Yakupov both don’t make the top 30 in a super weak draft class. It was a bad trade but it won’t be a loss to see Reinhart go, kind of blessing if he goes and not Broissoit.

  • Bagged Almond Milk

    If Vegas takes Griffin, maybe the trade was actually decent, as the Oilers won’t lose anyone else….. Barzal and whoever else aren’t NHLers yet, and may never be…. If Vegas takes Griffin based on draft pedigree and potential, the Oilers don’t actually lose an NHL player, where most of the other teams will. Maybe CHIA PETE is thinking 2 years ahead of us all. Because really, if Vegas drafts Griffin, we lose an AHL D man who may or may not ever make the show for good…. and We are crowded on D in the A anyways.

    • camdog

      All Las Vegas needs to do is sign a couple of UFA’s and they’ll be well north of 53 million. They don’t need dead weight cap money to reach 53 million, there will be some good players left unprotected because of the salary cap implications.

  • Hemmercules

    Not feeling super awesome about the defensemen depth at the moment. I think Reinhart is probably gone in this draft (I guess we have to see the lists first to make a sure guess), Sekera out until possibly just before Christmas and Spector is saying Russel probably gets priced out of Edmonton by a 4 mil contract to another Canadian team (Rumour of course).

    I feel like Chia pulls the trigger on at least one Dman this summer be it a free agent not name Russel or a trade with an eastern team. If its Eberle that goes in a trade then its another hole to fill.

  • Bagged Almond Milk

    Anaheim can take the expansion and shove it. Also, LT and GREGOR, where are all the trades that you spoke so fondly of? GM’s are being greedy right now, and don’t want to lose a good player as well as a slightly less good player, for a slightly better player. However, some GM’s will get burnt and that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Sometimes a Pick and a prospect is better than no pick or prospect, now show me the money.

    • madjam

      All 31 Gm’s told by league (Daly) not to leak trades with Vegas prematurely before the day of the draft . Thus , no trades should be exposed till then . Oilers may have a deal , but it would not be announced till draft day after Vegas reveals it , not us .